Bio-oil to heat houses sustainably is a very important project to make our planet better.
Perfecting bio-oil production to heat houses sustainably.
EU funded the project because it is one of the goals it has been strongly pursuing for some time. The reason is that if heating efficiency is not achieved, it will be very difficult to fulfill the European Green Deal sought by Ursula von der Leyen.
The production of bio-oil has been perfected and the changes that need to be made to residential boilers in order to use it have been defined.
Recycled agricultural and forestry waste can be used to heat homes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
After AeroGel and Quantum, it is the turn of Residue2Heat, in which Germany, which coordinated it, the Netherlands, Finland, Austria and Italy participated with contributions from CNR and the Politecnico di Milano.
Residue2Heat aimed to find a heating fuel other than gas and oil that was sustainable and possibly the result of recycling.
A bio-oil produced from agricultural and forestry waste.
This is a liquid bio-fuel that is obtained from the vast biomass of waste that is already being generated in Europe. Recycled and properly processed, it can fuel small boilers in homes.
The benefits are many: to the consumer, it ensures affordable costs; to the Planet, it promises a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, leading to a reduction in global warming.
The numbers are interesting: if 10 percent of old boilers in Germany alone were powered by bio-oil, it would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by about 5.5 million tons per year.
Two basic steps are needed to implement this project.
- To process biomass to make it suitable for combustion.
- To adapt existing boilers so that they can burn this fuel.
The first step is solved by a process known as fast pyrolysis. Typically, residential heating systems cannot handle the inconsistent properties of bio-oil. Using the fast pyrolysis process, waste biomass (such as wheat straw) can be converted into bio-oil. By ensuring the consistency of the chemical properties of the fuel, such as water content, the researchers were able to improve its stability and quality and adapt FPBO (Fast Pyrolysis Bio-Oil) to heat houses sustainably.
Next, experts examined and optimized existing residential heating systems to enable the use of FPBO.
All typical components used in heating systems, such as pumps and nozzles, were tested for compatibility. The researchers then studied fuel behavior in burners in the laboratory before taking the process to scale.
The environmental impact assessment confirmed the positive impacts of FPBO heating compared to fossil alternatives, especially when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (80-94%).
It is also interesting to note that ash recovered from the FPBO production process can be recycled in agricultural applications because it provides nutrients to the soil.